A Teppo-tai was an Ashigaru (or Japanese infantryman) armed with a arquebus or other firearm (Teppo meaning gun). By the time of the battle of Sekigahara in 1600 most Japanese armies had hundreds of these arquebusiers, although the weapon had only been introduced to Japan in 1542 by the Portuguese. At Sekigahara bows were still in use but the arquebus was quickly replacing them and changing forever the nature of Japanese warfare. The Teppo-tai were normally organized into groups of between 30 and 50 men. The matchlock firearm used had an effective range of 200m and a maximum range of 500m.
How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, TDP. (16 July 2001), Teppo-tai (Japan), http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_teppotai.html